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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: rolgiati

As told to YouCanToo

What is your name/username?
rolgiati (aka Ron the Frog)

How old are you?
71 last January

Are you married, single?
Married for 24 years to a British lady I met when she worked in France. Now a widower, working towards a new relationship.

How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
Boy and girl, Thomas (29) and Elizabeth (24).

Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
2 surly cats, one 45kg/99lbs. exuberant yellow lab, one timid cocker spaniel. Scotty (as in "I don't want to be beamed up Scotty") the lab is my favourite.

Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
Retired early, after some time in the French military, then 15 years doing R&D, and computer programming, in a big insurance company in Paris. Spent years there writing Cobol and Iverson's APL on the mainframe, and even QuickBasic on Canon portables and Dbase3 on a PC; quite varied. Then, quit to adopt two kids, then moved to Darkest Paraguay.

Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
Been living for the last 21 years in Asunción, Paraguay. It is a beautiful country. The weather is tropical, which means we don't have Summer and Winter, but North Wind and South Wind, which can bring hot or cold weather at any time of the year. The scenery is gorgeous. Gardening here is not a matter of helping plants to grow, but of swinging mightily with a machete to keep the green stuff from smothering you.

Forget all you may have heard about life in a South American country/dictatorship. I have lived here through three coups d'├ętat, and they were much less bother than the students riots in 1968 Paris. Life always was quiet for foreigners, as long as one kept away from the local political life. We now have democracy, together with some street muggings and burglaries, which is why one keeps a 9mm or a .38" at hand just in case (although I never had reason to use it in 21 years).

Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
Last schooling was the French Army "Saint Cyr Ecole Sp├ęciale Militaire" (our answer to West Point or Sandhurst) and Maths/Physics/IT at the university in Rennes.

What kind of things you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?,br> Old cars and motorcycles, steam engines, track work on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, model engineering; in my sinful youth, jumping out of airplanes with a parachute from a cliff-top with a hang-glider, scuba diving, pot-holing, dinghy sailing, piloting light aircraft, skiing, motorcycle riding, playing the Great Highland Bagpipes, Scottish Country dancing (where I met my late wife).

And reading, voraciously. I must have over 8000 books in the house, 95% of which I have read.

Why and when did you start using Linux?
When: In the days when Slackware became available on the Walnut Creek CDROM (and not a stack of 20-odd 3.5" floppies). It must have been 1993 or 1994, when one had to buy Mosaic to surf the web, because there were no free browsers then

Why: In four words "Blue Screen Of Death". Got fed up with the inadequacy of MS Windows, read about Linux, got the Slackware CD and was hooked. Later, I moved to Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia, flirted with Debian (then Devuan when the Poettering Plague started spreading), and finally PCLOS where I rejoiced in finding again all the Drak/Drax tools I had been sorely missing in Debian/Devuan.

What specific equipment do currently use with PCLinuxOS?
A desktop box with a quad-core AMD processor at 2.7 MHz, 8Gb RAM, two 500Gb and two 2Tb hard disks in RAID1 arrays. Plus the usual keyboard, mouse, sound, printer, scanner, camera, etc.

Running PCLinuxOS, and Windows 7 under VMWare VirtualBox for a few progs I sometimes need, that won't run under Wine. Several other computers in the house (each has his/her own), both Linux and MS Windows, on a wired LAN (Coax, now Cat5) behind a dedicated box running the IPCop firewall.

Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?,br> It does, in that they consider me to be some kind of an IT guru, and often come to me with HW or SW problems which I try to help them with because, after all, a guru has a reputation to maintain. And I always threaten to sprinkle their MS Windows machines with Holy Water.

It helps that I started early in IT, on a vacuum tubes and 4kb ferrite torus memory IBM machine, input-output on punched card, no screen or keyboard of course but a big round manometre in the middle of the console, and a sign reminding the user to crash-stop the machine if the pressure (or the cooling water) dropped below 6 kg/cm^2.

Those were the days when first year IT students were taught how to design AND, OR, NAND and NOR gates with a few transistors and resistors.

My first personal computer was a Sinclair Spectrum+ in 1984, to which I added an Opus twin 3.5" floppy unit, later an Amstrad 1512 PC, from which I still have in my desk drawer the Intel 8088 processor which I replaced with an Nec V30 (30% speed gain) and later added 16 RAM memory chips to raise the memory from 512 to 640 kb, not to mention an arithmetic co-processor.

What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
Not something I wish for, but something I hope I'll never see: PCLinuxOS infected with the Systemd pox.

PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight is an exclusive, monthly column by YouCanToo, featuring PCLinuxOS forum member. This column will allow "the rest of us" to get to know our forum family members better, and will give those featured an opportunity to share their PCLinuxOS story with the rest of the world.

If you would like to be featured in PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight, please send a private message to youcantoo, parnote or Meemaw in the PCLinuxOS forum expressing your interest.

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